Blue, green, or red?

I am not going to claim absolute knowledge on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I am neither a scholar nor an activist. What I am is a person who thirsts for the truth. More than that, I am someone who longs for peace, in accordance with the definition of my faith, my religion. Thus, I am here not to defend or to accuse, but simply to ask.

As I have always stated, I am not a scholar of Islam. But I do have ample knowledge on the history of the region and of the conflict. So if I am in the wrong, please someone do correct me: the third holiest site to Sunni Muslims after the cities of Mecca and Medina is Jerusalem, and not the region called Palestine, correct?

Jerusalem has tremendous religious significance to Muslims no less for its role in the Prophet (pbuh)’s ascendancy to heaven and for the fact that it was the first Qibla and the second house of prayer built, but also because we share historical importance of Haram ash-Sharif (or the Temple Mount) with the Jews. The kings and the prophets that lived before—Daud, Sulaiman, and Isa among others—centered their message of revelation in palaces and courts in Jerusalem, not Palestine.  Simply put, other parts of what is today the State of Israel, from Haifa to Tel Aviv to Be’er Sheva, are not religiously important to Muslims.

Nonetheless, there are understandably tangible grievances held by Palestinians—Christians and Muslims alike—for they were literally thrown out of their homes when Ashkenazi Jews bought lands in the territory. For that, we should certainly continue to seek restitution.

A two-state solution that addresses these issues, where Palestinians have the right to either govern their own country and/or have the right to return and live harmoniously under Israeli laws if they choose to do so, should be supported as long as the city of Jerusalem remains free and open to Muslims all over to visit and worship especially at Masjid al-Aqsa.

Jerusalem is holy, but Islam is peace.

If the Prophet (pbuh) can return insults with tolerance, why do we, sinful beings, resort to violence?


p/s: Do correct me if my understanding of history and Islam is marred by ignorance in this post.

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